Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread) - Page 3 - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #31 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 06:26 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The FTL, Florida
Posts: 4,335
Reviews: 21
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

I always thought there was a difference in quality between and RG1570 and an RG3550. I guess it's just better options?
Also, if there's a neck in my herd that feels like an old friend it's the 2001 RG570; and I can definitely tell there's quality differences aside from the neck between that and my 2006 RG1570 - and they're not that far apart in age.
I want to drop a new black LoPro in the RG570 though because powder cosmo is aging like crap!
mike570 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 11:47 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Glen, I guess I just don't understand who the intended audience is for the "What is Prestige?" article? Casual fans who just kind of want to know what the stuff they see means?

I can offer no more direct evidence than the RG1302 which was called J Custom one year and Prestige the next. What's more likely, that something changed on the guitar or that Ibanez simply had a shift in their branding strategy?

To Rich's point, names like Prestige and Wizard are marketing terms which can and have meant different things over the years. I'm a lot more interested in what the instrument actually is that's in my hands and the context of what was going on is important to that. Getting involved with any sort of collectible often ends up in speculation of what was happening at the company based on a range of available evidence.
mike570 likes this.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #33 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 12:09 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Posts: 5,171
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

As long as it's reasonably priced and MIJ, I'm down with it. RG550 master race
MatiasTolkki is offline  
post #34 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
site founder 0% owner
 
jemsite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 11,475
Reviews: 1
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
Glen, I guess I just don't understand who the intended audience is for the "What is Prestige?" article? Casual fans who just kind of want to know what the stuff they see means?

I can offer no more direct evidence than the RG1302 which was called J Custom one year and Prestige the next. What's more likely, that something changed on the guitar or that Ibanez simply had a shift in their branding strategy?

To Rich's point, names like Prestige and Wizard are marketing terms which can and have meant different things over the years. I'm a lot more interested in what the instrument actually is that's in my hands and the context of what was going on is important to that. Getting involved with any sort of collectible often ends up in speculation of what was happening at the company based on a range of available evidence.
Isn't it safe to say the point of the article was not for the few people losing sleep memorizing J-Custom models and ones unavailable in their country? I mean the web is a very large audience right

The article starts out and emphasizes Prestige is a MARKETING TERM. But what does that actually mean over time? Remember once you agree it's a marketing term then you can't getting agitated that some magical "6 steps" of neck finishing are not applied to maple. Or that Wizard changed a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
I'm a lot more interested in what the instrument actually is that's in my hands and the context of what was going on is important to that.
I know it's not your intent but this sounds really preachy. I mean you have never purchased a guitar without test driving it first? I hope you see the irony here.
jemsite is offline  
post #35 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 04:48 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
I know it's not your intent but this sounds really preachy. I mean you have never purchased a guitar without test driving it first? I hope you see the irony here.
It was not intended to sound preachy. In fact, buying guitars without test driving them first is what drove me to get into the minutiae of what all these terms "really" mean.

Being around for a number of years, I've seen a whole lot of confusion among people over what these marketing terms mean. This is often accompanied by them being disappointed that some guitar they've bought didn't live up to the idea they had in their head about what it was they were buying.

Given the cavalier way that Ibanez has used terms like Prestige and Wizard over the years, there is definitely a need for someone to really study the literature and read the tea leaves to be able to make sense of it all. I believed that was what you were going for. Totally fine if not.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #36 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
site founder 0% owner
 
jemsite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 11,475
Reviews: 1
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

I've updated the article with some notes/clarifiers. The J-custom area got a little sidetracked so I reeled that in with corrects, edits & clarifiers.

The goal is the intro explains all and then if not TL;DR some historical context for those interested.
jemsite is offline  
post #37 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 09:22 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

And that's fine. No real need to go into the level of detail that I care about. There are other sources that go into the minutiae that I'm getting into.

That said, I think looking at when things were released in Japan and Europe is important. I'll take a look at the edits.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #38 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 09:50 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

We will just have to agree to disagree. What you wrote isn't short so it isn't something for the casual fan and you've also done a fair amount of reading into and editorializing what was going on, which is exactly what you criticized me for a few posts ago.

I have major issues with your entire "USA Custom becomes J-Custom" section. If you're interested in a discussion on it, let me know. I just don't want to type it all up if you're not interested in hearing it.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #39 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
site founder 0% owner
 
jemsite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 11,475
Reviews: 1
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Interested. Please post I will review and further edit. As I've said the article is not final by any stretch.
jemsite is offline  
post #40 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 10:32 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

OK let's start with the idea that USA Custom (USRG specifically) became J Custom. That just doesn't seem true. These guitars existed simultaneously. Ibanez clearly saw interest in "classier" guitars with wood tops in the post-shred era. A more interesting question would be why make similar guitars both in the US and Japan? Well look at the dollar-to-yen exchange rate during that time. Importing from Japan became incredibly expensive. You can look at what happened to the prices of Japanese sports cars at the same time and watch them all exit the US market by the mid 90's. Take a look at the 1994 US catalog. Many of the MIJ guitars are gone and there are widespread cost cutting measures.

"Sometime in 1995 the RG1808, RG1508, RG1308, RG1302 were sold as J.Custom. These were bland & derivative akin to the USRGs and the later Prestige models that shipped worldwide."

This is just needless editorializing. They are bland and derivative according to who? You? Also, they are derivative of what exactly? FujiGen had previously only made painted and veneer top bodies.

"Were these side projects during slow production time? An acquiescence to tenured luthiers not feeling challenged enough on the production line? We’ll never fully know of course."

What is the point of this? Do you really think Ibanez started this line to give bored luthiers something to do? Why not just stick to the facts that in the mid 90's, Ibanez began selling guitars like this in multiple markets.

"By 1997 Ibanez marketed both J-Custom & Prestige RGs in Japan. Throw it against the wall and see what sticks right?!"

Why is that last sentence in there? If you don't want to discuss possible reasons this may have happened, leave your opinion out.

"While it wasn’t public knowledge at the time, the luthier who setup the Fujigen Custom Shop – Makoto “Nick” Sugimoto – had diverted his attention from Ibanez to establish Sugi Guitars in 2002 (later bringing over experienced Fujigen luthiers)."

OK now you're starting to get somewhere. Nick Sugimoto launched the J.Custom line in 1995. The necks on J.Customs were originally called "Wizard SP" in 1995, changed to "Wizard Special" in 1996 and "J.Custom" in 1997. These are all 3-piece, non-scarf joint necks. J.Custom switched to a 5-piece design in 1998 and the Prestige inherited the old 3-piece neck, marketed simply as "Wizard" in the US on the RG3120. If you've played an RG3120, you'd know that the neck is a Wizard in name only. The profile is totally different than the scarf-joint Wizard necks from the time, because it's a J.Custom neck with a different name on the headstock.

The other interesting thing is the 2001-04 J.Customs, which would have been launched while Sugimoto was still there. You'll find a number of features on those guitars that you only today see on the very high end, Sugi-build J.Customs. In 2005 the JC's switched to more standard FujiGen mass production, with necks much more similar to Prestige guitars and standard FujiGen serial numbers on them.
peromucho7 and MatiasTolkki like this.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #41 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
site founder 0% owner
 
jemsite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 11,475
Reviews: 1
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Thx. good info, will review & edit further

Quick points.... Bland & derivative vs UCEWs. Not sure why USA custom becoming j.custom is a bone of contention though. Instead of Tak, Bunker, etc. building limited, top shelf guitars for Ibanez japan decided they would do it instead. The early j.c's pale in comparison. I assume you guys saw the UCEWs then USRG30s for example. Some of the other stuff you're calling editorializing was speculation or info from hosh usa at the time. But yes it needs to be cleaned up further

We must remember that Terrrada & others created IBANEZ logo MIJ so they have a long history of spreading their outsourcing (they don't make anything). I contend we can't connect all the dots even ones that look obviously connectible... i could be wrong and that's ok... the article presently is like v0.85
jemsite is offline  
post #42 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 05:51 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 118
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
Now look at the models from 1996. RG1702 looks pretty similar to an RG3120...
The bodies of the Rg 1702 j.custom and the rg3120 Prestige are not
only very similar, they are identical. Look at the advertisements:
Ibanez just screwed one prestige and one j.custom neck on the same body
They only had one body and just changed neck and hardware for the photos.

Last edited by DirkS; 01-04-2018 at 05:58 PM.
DirkS is offline  
post #43 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 08:20 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,745
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
Not sure why USA custom becoming j.custom is a bone of contention though. Instead of Tak, Bunker, etc. building limited, top shelf guitars for Ibanez japan decided they would do it instead. The early j.c's pale in comparison. I assume you guys saw the UCEWs then USRG30s for example
If you want to say that, I think you need to make it more clear you're talking about UCEW, not USRG. After the introduction, you spend two brief paragraphs covering 1987-97 and then follow it up talking about USRG. There is no mention of UCEW at all. So it sounds like you're saying that Ibanez (or HUSA) came up with the USRG line, then it all sprang from that.

My point is that the USRG and J Custom lines came along basically concurrently, so it wasn't like they looked at the success of the USRG line and said "hey, we should do these in Japan as well!". There was a simultaneous effort to build and sell similar guitars in all markets. I'm sure that the "Made in the USA" cache of using Bunker rather than FujiGen was a significant factor, but if you look at their other moves to try and cut costs, I think economics was a significant factor as well. Looking at the 91-94 arc of US catalogs is telling when you see high end model after high end model eliminated, features reduced, etc.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #44 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-20-2018, 07:53 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 118
Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Thx for this really interesting thread!

The first J-Customs are nothing special, no innovations (except the new neck shape), nice, excelent built guitars, but everything seen before.

In my opinion the "real" J-Custom-Shop was born in 1997, when they introduced the new 1997 RG-ART1, RG-METAL1, RG-GEAR1, S5400NT, S3040PL, S3040BS, SR-8100.
Who wouldn`t love to own a ART-1?
DirkS is offline  
Reply

Tags
custom shop , usa custom

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USA Custom Master Thread Takin' a Ride All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 254 12-21-2018 10:37 AM
Ibanez JEM, Universe & Euphoria Guitar Models By Year (master reference thread) jemsite Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 18 11-12-2018 07:29 PM
Ibanez JS Guitar Models By Year (master reference thread) jemsite Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 31 12-22-2017 09:53 AM
WTB: Ibanez Neckthrough RG / RGT .:. Prestige - J-Custom - American Master gitarrero Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 1 08-18-2008 03:27 AM
FS: Ibanez American Master USA Custom Ronnie_Rocker Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 14 01-09-2007 05:38 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome